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Photography

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 The Silver Women

The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.  It's by production designer and director Catherine Hardwicke, from 1993 a tribute to the multi-ethnic women of Hollywood, as the four life-size silver women supporting the structure are Mae West, Dorothy Dandridge, Anna Mae Wong and Dolores Del Rio. You decide which is which.

The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.
The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.
The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.
The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.
The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.
The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.

Marilyn Monroe is still up top.

The Hollywood La Brea Gateway, the stainless steel gazebo on the southeast corner of Hollywood and La Brea, sometimes called the Four Ladies Statue, welcomes you to Hollywood.

Marilyn Monroe is also hiding, just down the street.

Marilyn Monroe graphic - west wall of Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood

Transportation for large leading ladies

Hummer stretch limo - Hollywood Boulevard
Stretch limo - Hollywood Boulevard

A reminder

AFI promo sticker on truck, Hollywood

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

More conventional views of the La Brea Gateway gazebo here and here, and from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database everything you wanted to know -

    Hardwicke, Catherine, designer

    Brogan, Jack, sculptor

    West, Harl, sculptor

    Prantis, Richard, contractor

    Chase, Margo, designer

     

    Title: Hollywood and La Brea Gateway (sculpture)

     

    Dates: 1993, dedicated February 1, 1994.

     

    Medium: Gateway: stainless steel, glass, neon, gilded metal; Base: concrete, granite tile.

     

    Dimensions:  Gateway: approx. 30 ft. x 11 ft. 6 in. x 11 ft. 6 in.; Base: approx. 12 x 12 x 12 ft.

     

    Inscription: (On plaque on sculpture:) Designer: Catherine Hardwicke (On plaque below figure:) 1923 DOROTHY DANDRIDGE 1965/First Black Woman to be nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for "Carmen Jones." (On plaque below second figure:) 1906 ANNA MAY WONG 1961/Starred in Silent and Talking Pictures including "The Thief of Baghdad" and "Shanghai Express." (On plaque below third figure:) 1904 DOLORES DEL RIO 1983/Starred in more than 30 films in Hollywood and dozens in Mexico including "What Price Glory." (On plaque below fourth figure:) 1893 MAE WEST 1980/Writer and Star of a string of hits including "I'm No Angel" and "My Little Chickadee." (Down the outside of the spire in neon:) H/O/L/L/Y/W/O/O/D (In the arches of gateway, between figures:) HOLLYWOOD signed

     

    Description: Sculptural four-sided gateway is an art-deco style gazebo with four stainless steel full-length portraits of Hollywood actresses supporting an open roof structure. The actresses portrayed are Mae West, Dorothy Dandridge, Anna May Wong and Dolores Del Rio. All four figures wear glamorous long gowns. Each figure stands on a square base. A spire rises from the top of the rounded, open gazebo roof. Neon lettering runs vertically down the four sides of the spire. At the top of the spire is a small windvane. The windvane is a gilded full-length portrait of Marilyn Monroe holding her billowing skirt in place. The gazebo stands directly on a plaza. The plaza floor within the gazebo is granite tile mosaic patterned in the shape of a star.

     

    Object Type: Outdoor Sculpture - California - Los Angeles, Weathervane, Sculpture

     

    Owner: Administered by City of Los Angeles, Community Redevelopment Agency, Art Program, 354 South Spring Street, 7th floor, Los Angeles, California 90013

     

    Located Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea traffic island, Los Angeles, California

     

    Remarks: The gateway was commissioned by the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) at a cost of $75,000. Hardwicke was commissioned to design the gateway. Subcontractors included Brogan who served as technical artist; West who served as sculptor; Prantis who supervised the work; and Chase who designed the graphics. IAS files contain copies of related articles from Vogue, Dec. 1993, pg. 84; Park Labrea News/Beverly Press, Feb. 17, 1994 and Los Angeles Times, Jan. 19, Feb. 14 and 28, 1994, which discuss the controversial piece.

[The Silver Women]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik